The Sewer Section provides maintenance and improvements to the City’s sewer collection systems. The sanitary sewer system is approximately 120 miles in length and the stormwater collection system is approximately 163 miles.
The responsibilities of the Sewer Section include replacing or repairing storm inlets and manholes, inspecting and cleaning inlets and televising and cleaning sewer lines. By maintaining the several-hundred miles of storm and sanitary sewers, this division helps to ensure that outgoing water is transported safely to its designated location.
For additional information regarding the Sewer Section please review the topics below or contact the Sewer Section staff.
WATER IN BASEMENT
Unless you have an emergency that requires police or fire assistance, please do not call 9-1-1 or the non-emergency number. Call a plumber or, if you believe the flooding is due to a water main or sewer issue, call the Public Works Department at 847.432.0807.
SWIMMING POOL DRAINAGE
Residents are reminded of the Highland Park City Code requirements pertaining to the discharge of water from residential swimming pools. City Ordinance Article XII requires that swimming pools be drained directly into a sanitary sewer. This ensures that harmful chemicals can be removed at a treatment plant. Discharging pool water into storm sewers, ravine streams or other natural water bodies is illegal.
During spring and fall maintenance, pool water should be drained into the house sanitary sewer, or a City sanitary sewer manhole located in the public right of way. If a City sanitary sewer is used for discharge, it is the responsibility of the homeowner, or designated pool contractor, to properly barricade and secure the area around the sanitary sewer manhole. Discharge of swimming pool water into storm sewer systems or any ravine, either public or private, is strictly prohibited. Proper Discharging of Pool Water
Appropriate Draining Locations
For appropriate draining locations, please call the Public Works Department at 847.432.0807.
ROUTINE CITY CLEANING
City crews perform routine cleaning operations on the sanitary sewers throughout the year. This is done to remove tree roots and debris from the sanitary sewer system. This process improves sewer performance and reduce the chance of sewer backups and other related problems.
The cleaning process causes a vacuum in the sewer, which will not affect most homes. However, some homes may experience problems with inadequate or partially blocked drain vents. The vacuum may cause P-traps (the s-shaped bend in the pipe under sinks and drains) to be sucked dry.
Residents who notice a sewer smell are advised to run a small amount of water in their drains to refill these traps. Residents may also notice a bubbling or gurgling noise during cleaning operations. Most of the City’s sanitary sewer system is cleaned on a three-year cycle. Some locations in the City are cleaned as often as every three months, depending on conditions in the area.
If you have any questions about the sewer maintenance program, please call Sewer Section Foreman Wayne Bauer at 847.432.0807.
Flooding occurs most commonly from heavy rainfall when natural watercourses do not have the capacity to carry and drain excess water faster than nature delivers, and when water inundation occurs resulting in higher than normal river levels. Often times these unfortunate situations are unpredictable, but the City of Highland Park works hard to maintain the city to try and prevent such incidents from occurring.
Additional information regarding flooding, prevention tips, and FAQ's can be viewed here.
VOLUNTARY SEWER LATERAL COST SHARE PROGRAM
The purpose of the Voluntary Sewer Lateral Cost Sharing Program is to assist homeowners in minimizing house and property flooding due to sanitary sewer surcharges by addressing the condition of the private sewer lateral, through full lining or complete replacement, or overhead plumbing or other approved sewer backflow-preventing devices. If approved for the Program, residents would be eligible for up to 20% or a maximum of $1,260 reimbursement, whichever is less of the total cost of the private sewer lateral rehabilitation.
The cost sharing program is available only to single-family residential lots and applicable only to stand-alone sanitary sewer lateral rehabilitation projects or other approved flood reduction equipment such as sewer backflow devices and overhead sewer systems. Prior to the City authorizing a cost-share program, City staff will perform an inspection for any cross connection of storm sewer laterals to sanitary sewer laterals. If a cross-connection is found, property owners are required to disconnect the laterals at their own cost.
For more information about the Voluntary Sewer Lateral Cost Sharing Program, please contact Sewer Section Foreman Wayne Bauer at 847.432.0807 or Plumbing Inspector Fred Alaimo at 847.926.1165.